40 years ago today - 40 years ago - Feb 21, 1980-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]

Elder Durham asked me if I had complete confidence in Andy Ehat. He is asking to see certain manuscripts in the vault of the First Presidency, and Brother Durham wanted to know whether he should endorse them. I told him that I did not know Andy Ehat that well. Brother Durham said he resembles Mike Quinn-a person of insatiable curiosity. I told him I had full confidence in Mike Quinn and in Ron Esplin, but I had no basis for having confidence in Andy Ehat. In response to a specific question I told him I did not think Andy was a double agent, but that I thought it would be wisdom to watch him and to be careful.

I was prompted by something to begin a list of leading Mormon intellectuals. I consulted with Davis [Bitton] on this. Here are some names we came up with: Henry Eyring, H. Tracy Hall, James Jensen, D. LaMar Jensen, Homer Durham, Lowry Nelson, Nels Anderson, Glen Vernon, Meredith Wilson, Sterling McMurrin, Hugh Nibley, Truman Madsen, Lowell Bennion, Spencer Palmer, Neal Maxwell, Dallin Oaks. Davis wanted to add my name and I wanted to add his name.

Maureen [Beecher]'s list [of ] Mormon women intellectuals-too soon to be sure: Claudia Bushman, Cheryll May, Jill Mulvay Derr, Lavina Fielding Anderson, Melodie Moench Charles, Chris Rigby Arrington, Adele Brannon McCollum, Christine Meaders Durham, Marilyn Arnold, Reba Keele, Margaret Woodworth, Gail Bell Peterson, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Janath Cannon (before officialdom set in), Josephine Meyer Cassie, Ann Stringham Tingle, Francine Russell Bennion, Emma Lou Thayne, Lucile Reading, Dorothy Carson, [[In the margin, Arrington wrote: "These are women whom I know personally. The criterion is how high we reach in private talk-the intellectual games bit-combined with the nature of their thinking once we get there." Peterson was managing editor of BYU Press, Bennion a past member of the Young Women's general board, Reading was editor of the Friend, and Carson was an Arizona county court judge. For the remaining two women, an English professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Partridge) and a political science professor at Weber State (White), he added, "These I don't know, but suspect of intellectual mindset. Obviously a great gap here-generational as well as opportunity created."]] Elinore Hughes Partridge, Jean Bickmore White.

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

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